I work nine-hour days, and he is home, but our baby goes to a sitter because he “gets overwhelmed.” And honestly, I set up the sitter so he could look for, and find, a job. He watches his son some days as well. However, he does little, if any, cleaning or cooking at all. He doesn’t do much baby care unless I badger him to do it.
I feel like I do almost everything. I work nine hours, come home, clean up, make dinner, feed everyone, clean up dinner, clean up the baby, get the baby (and sometimes my husband’s son too) ready for bed, put her (and sometimes him) to bed, etc. Heck, his son doesn’t even have a bed because Mark lost the money he got (a gift to buy him a mattress). When his son is with us, I sleep on the couch so he can sleep with daddy.
Mostly, Mark plays on his computer or watches TV this whole time, claiming to “watch the kids” for me so I can do all the house work. Sure, he does a load of laundry or empties the dishwasher when I specifically ask. Sometimes. And because he does SOMETHING, he is flabbergasted when I tell him I feel like he is being a lazy lump.
He actually told me the other day that he watches youtube/porn/facebook/etc. all day long because, “I’m not working, what else is there to do in this house?” OMFG! I flipped out on him. We are halfway to looking like a house on “Hoarders,” and you can’t find anything to do? Your dog hasn’t gotten a proper walk in MONTHS, but you’re bored? I tell him that if the roles were reversed, he would probably flip out on me if he came home from work and the house wasn’t clean and dinner wasn’t on the table, right?
Somehow, though, he always rationalizes that he isn’t lazy, he isn’t taking me for granted, and that “we” need to work as a team to clean the house and pay bills, etc, etc. He makes me feel like an asshole, and I end up crying, and he hugs me and tells me it’s OK, we just need to work together. Which we never do. I end up doing shit for a few days, then we have another fight over the same shit because he never, ever follows through. But every time we fight, he promises to get better. And every time I believe him. — Had it Up to Here
Do you really believe him? Or are you just too exhausted — physically and emotionally — to fight him anymore? Because, honestly, there’s not one thing in your letter than indicates you have a shred of faith in your fiancé. There’s not even a hint of love here. What I see in this letter in utter hopelessness, fatigue, anger and depression (yours, and possibly his). It seems like you’ve given up — on the relationship, on Mark, and on yourself — and after working full-time, doing 98% of the house work, all the child care (for your kid as well as one that isn’t even yours), AND feeding a grown-ass man who’s too busy watching porn all day to make his own food or clean his own mess or pay attention to his own children, you don’t have even an ounce of energy left to fight for a better life.
But, sweetie, you have to fight for a better life. If not for yourself, then for your baby. Forget your relationship for a minute. This is way beyond repairing a failing relationship. This is about saving a few lives. You cannot keep living as you are. You have GOT to stop enabling Mark to take advantage of you. You have to force him to step up and take some responsibility, if not as a boyfriend, as a father. As long as you allow him to spend his days ignoring his kids and jerking off to XTube and old girlfriends on Facebook or whatever he’s looking at all day, he’s going to keep doing that. And why wouldn’t he? He clearly has no interest in being a productive member of your family, let alone society, and, as long as he has someone who is willing to pay his bills, clean his mess, feed him, and SLEEP ON THE SOFA so he can have the bed — oh my God — he will take advantage of that. Because that’s the kind of man he is.
So STOP ALLOWING HIM TO DO THIS.
Kick him out. And go see a lawyer about filing for child support. Call off your engagement and box up his shit and leave it on the door step for him to pick up.
I mean, what do you need him in your life for? What does he provide that you can’t find elsewhere? Does he help out with your baby? No, he does not. Does he help around the house? Clearly not. Does he contribute financially to your household? No! Does he make you feel loved, cared for, appreciated? Does he? Because it doesn’t sound like it. And if this is what you think love feels like, I urge you to seek therapy and work through whatever issues are keeping you from aiming higher. Does he give you companionship? Make more friends. Join a moms’ group, a women’s circle, or a religious organization. Go out with your colleagues. Invite family members over for a potluck. Find out what true, caring companionship should really feel like.
I can imagine there’s loneliness in your life. I can imagine it because I know it myself. Most of us do. Life is lonely. It’s filled with tricky detours we think re-route us around loneliness but only take us much deeper into the darkness. At the top of the list of detours are addictions and bad relationships. Some people even have addictions to bad relationships. (In fact, lots of people do). These detours don’t take us around the loneliness though. They only take us further into it.
I know you probably feel like you don’t have options or like you can’t possibly be happy on your own. But you do and you can. You can certainly be happier than you are now. But you have to work for that happiness. You have to do some things that will be hard and feel uncomfortable. You have to allow yourself to feel some loneliness and you pull out of the detour and find your way back to the path you’re meant to be on. (The one you’re on isn’t it).
I know being alone seems scary, but you’re a strong woman and you can handle it. You’re already supporting yourself and your child. You don’t need Mark’s assistance. You haven’t had it thus far. And you will have an easier time of it on your own, without Mark dragging you down. Let him find his own way again. He’s stuck on a detour, too. And he’s not going to find his way back to the path he’s meant to be on when you make it so easy to stay where he is.
Let go of this relationship — at least in its current incarnation. Get out of this detour and back on your right path. Do it for yourself and do it for your baby. It’s time. Nothing is going to change until you make it change.
If you have a relationship/dating question I can help answer, you can send me your letters at firstname.lastname@example.org.